Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 200
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Gazetteer of the State of Maine With Numerous Illustrations, by Geo. J. Varney

BOSTON: PUBLISHED BY B. B. RUSSELL, 57 CORNHILL. 1882. Public domain image from


beautiful sheet of water. It is fed very largely by springs, and is there-
fore little affected by drought or freshet. There are on the water-power
in this town, about twenty-five different mills and factories, chiefly
situated at Dexter Village. The principal manufactures are boots and
shoes, long lumber, boxes, doors, sashes and blinds, churns, carriages,
woolen cloths, mens’ clothing, cooper’s ware, flour, meal and feed, iron
castings, stoves, plows, soap, leather, marble-work, tinware, etc. Dex-
ter Village is the present terminus of the Dexter and Newport Rail-
road. It is beautifully situated on a hillside with easy slopes toward
the pond and stream. It contains two or more good schoolhouses,
several handsome churches, one of the best town-halls in the State, and
has a public library of about 1,600 volumes. The Barron Memorial
Church (built in memory of the cashier of the Dexter Bank, murdered
by burglars while defending his charge), is located in this village, and
is an elegant edifice. The streets of the village are of ample width,
and are generally shaded by rows of elms and maples, having, for the
most part, a growth of forty years. There is an unusual number of
tasteful residences in the village and town ; all buildings—public and
private—being in excellent repair, impressing the traveler with the pre-
valence of thrift. The roads are excellent. The principal bridge has
a length of 30 rods, and is constructed of stone. The prevalent rocks
in the town are slate, an impure limestone, and a quartzose rock.

Maple, birch and beech are the chief trees in the woods. The soil is
quite fertile, yielding well of all the usual farm crops. Dexter, among
much that is beautiful and interesting, has a natural curiosity in Swan-
ton’s Cave ; which, however, is mostly filled with water.

The township which is now Dexter, wras surveyed in 1772, but re-
mained unsettled until the arrival of David Smith, in 1801. The first
family resident in the town was that of Ebenezer Small, of Gilmanton,

N. H. He was followed, soon after, by a large delegation from the
same region,—among whom were Joseph Tucker, Seba French, Wil-
liam Mitchell, Simeon and John Safford, andthe-Shepleys, Smiths and
Maxwells. The plantation was at first called Elkinstown. In 1803
the boundaries of the township were established, and it was divided
into lots for settlers,—the plan being drawn by Simeon Safford. In
1804 the township was granted to Amos Bond and eight others. The
town was incorporated in 1816; receiving its name in honor of Hon.

Samuel Dexter, who was that year the democratic candidate for
governor of Massachusetts—Mr. Brooks, the Whig candidate obtain-
ing the election. The post-office was established in 1818, the mail
being carried between Bangor and Skowhegan once a week on horse-
back. Daniel Hayden was the carrier. The Universalists erected the
first meeting-house in 1829. In 1848 a violent tornado passed over the
town, tearing up the largest trees and crushing some of the strongest    :


The First National Bank of Dexter has a capital of $100,000. The
Dexter Savings Bank, at the beginning of 1880, held in deposits and
profits, the sum of $146,196.78.

The “ Dexter Gazette,” published by M. F. Herring, Esq., is a wide-
awake paper, serving well tbe interests of the town.

The Baptist, Free Baptist, Methodist, Congregationalist, Univer-
salist, Episcopal, Roman Catholic and Advent, have organizations and
churches in Dexter. Public entertainments are chiefly literary and


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